Nano gold cluster is a marvellous catalyst

Nanosized gold clusters
Nanosized gold clusters is known to catalyze various oxidations, esterifications, and epoxidations. But the basis of the precious metal’s reactivity was not very clear to the scientists. However carbon monoxide oxidation catalyst by gold is well known. In the case of CO oxidation a computational study has found that CO can surprisingly provide a cocatalytic assist to gold nanoclusters during oxidation reactions. The presence of neighboring CO molecules on gold nanoclusters enhances dioxygen oxidation of CO to carbon dioxide.
This self-oxidation mechanism has now been uncovered by researchers of University of Nebraska and  Xiangtan University of in China. The findings reveals that when CO is bound to certain triangular Au3 active sites on gold nanoclusters in the presence of O2, the CO molecule helps facilitate bond scission in an adjacent OCOO intermediate. The analysis shows that an attack on the intermediate by the Au3-bound CO neighbor would significantly accelerate the rate of O–O bond breaking, resulting in formation of two CO2 molecules.


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